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DAWN PATROL (aka: Flight Commander) 1930 (Richard Barthelmess) – DVD
Director Howard Hawks makes his talkie debut with this antiwar classic, an action-packed WWI adventure powerfully told with “a characteristically Hawksian emphasis on professionalism, self-respect and loyalty” (Time Out Film Guide). Tormented over his sending eager young recruits to their deaths, Major Brand (Neil Hamilton) of the 59th British Squadron is heavily criticized by his ace pilots, Dick Courtney (Richard Barthelmess) and Douglas Scott (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). But when the major is promoted and Courtney assumes command, he finds himself in the same situation as his predecessor when he dispatches Scott’s inexperienced brother on an ill-fated mission, a sacrifice of war for which he must soon make amends. Based on a story by John Monk Saunders (Wings), The Dawn Patrol won the 1930/31 (4th) Academy Award® for Writing (Original Story), and its dazzling aerial footage was reused by Warner Bros. for the 1938 remake starring Errol Flynn.